Castle Valley Fire Department hosts Dec. 6 hearing

Editor,

We are all alarmed by the fire news every day from our neighbors in California. Of course our situations are somewhat different but we all live and make our homes in a wildland-urban interface area because we love it.

Your all-volunteer Castle Valley Fire Department has a duty to provide you fire protection to the best of our ability. We know that you understand that we cannot succeed without help from you. We felt this would be a good time to review what we need you to do to assure that your family and property are protected from fire.

• Prompt response to fires is critical. If you see any indication of fire inside or outside your home, do not hesitate to call 911. The sheriff’s department dispatcher on duty 24/7 can page for assistance immediately.

• We became a “Firewise Community” in 2002 and many of you have worked on your property to make major reductions in your fire hazard. This is your first line of defense to protect your property.

• The state assists by making individual property inspections and recommendations. They also bring a chipper in twice a year on “chipper days” to convert trimmings to mulch. If you are not familiar with this program, contact the fire department or see us at any town event. There is no charge for any of this assistance and it could well save your home.

• Some of our roads are very restricted. We are working with the Town of Castle Valley Road Department to improve road access to all properties in the valley. Please cooperate with this effort.

• The Division of Natural Resources and BLM are working with property owners to develop a shaded fuel break selectively thinned along the east side fence. This can be an effective limit to the spread of fire into Castle Valley.

• Develop a “72-hour” kit in case of an emergency evacuation if you don’t already have one.

• Work with your family and develop a contact plan so that everyone knows how to contact everyone else in an emergency at any time. For more information go tohttp://.wildlandfirersg.org/Resident

• Develop your family’s emergency plan. If you need additional help, contact the fire department at 435-259-3655 or the Castle Valley Town Clerk 435-259-9828.

• The fire department is planning a budget increase in 2019. Additional continuing funding is necessary to provide firefighting equipment and safety equipment for our firefighters. There will be a community public hearing on Dec. 6, 2018 at 6 p.m. at Fire Station 1 on the Castleton Road.

• Information sources:http://www.ready.govhttp://www.nfpa.org/firewisehttp://www.ready.gov/build-a-kithttp://www.readyforwildfire.org/Ready-Set-Go-Campaign/

Thank you for your continuing strong support.

–Castle Valley Fire Department

Chief Ron Drake, Fire Commissioners Mitch Stock, Leta Vaughn and Bob Russell